Sean Murphy is cost-controlled
When looking at acquiring any talent, club’s pay special attention to years of control they would have with a player and what their cost will be on an annual basis. In the case of Murphy, the star catcher is under team control through the 2025 season.
This is significant for St. Louis for two different reasons. First, this means their answer at catcher for the next three seasons, meaning any talent they part with will not be wasted by 2024. With Andrew Knizner being a back-up at best and Ivan Herrera not being ready for significant big league action, Murphy would give St. Louis an elite stop gap and could be their catcher for years beyond.
Second, Murphy’s team control opens up options for the Cardinals moving forward. If they have to sign a guy like Willson Contreras, they lock of significant dollars into that position that cannot be spent elsewhere. With the rotation needing an overhaul after 2023 and other needs arising, getting more high level, cost controlled players opens up what St. Louis can do both in free agency and the trade market in 2023 and beyond.